The holiday season is officially upon us. Which means busy weekends of shopping for gifts and attending countless get-togethers with family and friends. I know my calendar is already filling up with events, from work to the in-laws and I’m sure yours is the same!
For most of us, this means waving goodbye to our diet efforts. It seems like every party you attend revolves around indulging on food and drink. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Indulge in the Company, Not the Cuisine
Remember that we get together during the holidays to be with our family and close friends. It’s not so we all can shove our faces full of foods and gain 20 pounds in one month. Refocus your idea of what the holidays are really about, making people and your relationships with them the focus of an event, not the food.
Don’t arrive hungry.
Eat a healthy mini-meal or snack before you go so you’re not starving by the time you get there. This will prevent you from wanting to eat everything in sight.
Steer clear of the temptation.
Out of sight, out of mind! Find out where the dessert table or bar is and simply avoid those areas of the event. If you’re not constantly seeing it, it’s not tempting you to the point that you give in and have something you’ll regret later.
Bring a supporter.
Don’t attend the event alone. Take someone with you who will support you and your meal plan or who is maybe even on the same meal plan as you. Having someone to keep you in-check is often the difference between sticking to your diet and falling off of it.
Offer to host the event yourself.
If you’re throwing the party, then you know there will be food there that fits in your meal plan. If you attend parties that friends or family are hosting, offer to bring some food, a dish or two (that you can actually eat).
When the Company Gets Pushy with the Cuisine
We can take all the precautions in the world to stick to our diets over the holidays. But when Aunt Mable is shoving her ‘famous’ green bean casserole in your face, all our precautionary measures don’t help.
When someone asks you to try his or her special dish say, “I will later!”
You don’t want to be rude and turn them down but when their special dish doesn’t fit with your meal plan, you need a way to not eat it without saying no. This is where the stall tactic comes to play. Saying you will later isn’t telling them no, but it should work in your favor to not have to eat it because most likely they’ll forget. If they do ask you how it was as you’re leaving the party/event, just say you forgot but will definitely try it next time.
When they tell you that one bite won’t kill you or ruin your diet.
You want to compliment them and their cooking, while expressing some humor. Jokingly say, “No, it won’t but that smells and looks so good and I’m sure tastes so delicious that I won’t be able to have just one bite.” This is you telling them thank you but no thank you and making it clear that you’re not going to try any but still being nice by telling them you’re sure it’s tasty.
When they try and tell you to take some leftovers.
You want the leftovers to stay at the hosts’ house rather than go home with you. Tell them that’s very generous of them to offer, but politely decline using one of two responses: 1) “Thanks, but it’s OK. You keep it and then you’ll have food to eat tomorrow for lunch/dinner.” OR 2) “I would love to but we’ve already been to a couple of parties this week and our fridge is full from those leftovers and we wouldn’t want it to go to waste.” If all that fails and they give it to you anyways, they’ll never know that you threw it away or gave it away.
It’s not impossible to stick with your weight loss efforts over the holidays, if you remember what it’s really all about: enjoying time with loved ones. In the end, it comes down to your mental strength to stay strong. No amount of advice, or planned replies will train you for all your encounters… so when all else fails, stick to your guns. If weight loss is truly your goal, then your loved ones will understand.
Do you have any tactics for staying on-track this time of year? We could all use a few more strategies in our bag of tricks, leave us a comment below!
For some additional reading, check out Diet Chaos and our Smoothie Recipes eBook (for free):